Feb 8, 2024 - News

Des Moines' "Nitefall on the River" delayed another 2 years

Simon Estes Amphitheater

The Simon Estes Amphitheater has been closed to most events since 2019. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

"Is Nitefall on the River coming back? This warm weather has me daydreaming," — Mike Slusark, DSM

State of play: The downtown concert series is delayed at least another two years because of soon-to-start reconstruction of the adjacent Walnut Street Bridge, Des Moines Parks and Recreation director Ben Page tells Axios.

Catch up fast: Nitefall was displaced in 2019 when the Simon Estes Amphitheater closed for repairs.

  • The event had a brief stint at Brenton Skating Plaza but was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
  • City officials announced in 2021 that it wouldn't return until this year because of bridge work.

What's happening: Construction was delayed after the bridge's estimated cost spiked more than 40% and city officials reconsidered their options.

  • But City Council recently approved moving forward with what is now a nearly $20 million project.

What's next: The bridge work completion is anticipated for 2026.

  • The amphitheater will reopen in 2027 and Nitefall will return then, Page says.
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